SAUEZM and IAEA cooperate in project of support of the Chornobyl NPP decommissioning and radioactive waste management

Specialists of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management in Vienna at the kick-off meeting on the UKR9038 IAEA project agreed on a work plan and mechanism for the implementation of the National Project on further support for the Chornobyl NPP decommissioning, management of radioactive waste (RAW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The project is scheduled for 2 years, during which the IAEA experts will provide their assessments and recommendations for Ukraine to implement these measures in accordance with international standards.

«Ukraine highly appreciates the expert support and recommendations of the IAEA in working to improve the legislative framework and formulate a national policy on the management of RW and SNF. Also, we are actively working towards deep geological disposal, and it is very important for us to take over and take into account the best international experience in our work», – Volodymyr Feshchenko, Deputy Head of SAUEZM, emphasizes.

One of the project's directions is to support the removal of ChNPP from the stage of final closure and conservation and further management of radioactive materials. In particular, this refers to the future operation of the spent nuclear fuel storage facility No.2 (ISF-2) and the need to work with IAEA experts on non-standard situations that may arise during transportation and long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. The IAEA's support will help avoid mistakes and apply the best technical solutions.

Another important component of the National Project is the need to support the optimization of the national classification of RAW in general. On April 17, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted in the first reading as a basis the bill «On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Improvement of Legislation on Radioactive Waste Management». It provides for the creation in Ukraine of 4 types of storage facilities: surface, near-surface, storage facilities for radioactive waste disposal at medium depths and geological. Such a system is more effective, as it will allow the rational use of the RAW funds as efficiently as possible.

According to Lyubov Zinkevich, Head of the Chornobyl NPP Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management Department, the IAEA highly assessed Ukraine's steps towards improving national policies and developing a long-term strategy on SNF and RAW management, as defined by Euroatom's Directive 70/2011, and will allow the actualization and introduce a systematic approach, as well as strategic planning for a long period.

«We plan to involve a wide range of Ukrainian specialists from state enterprises responsible for the RW management system to participate in the project. It is planned to discuss this issue at seminars, conferences, as well as the planned training of Ukrainian specialists abroad. It is important for us that the joint work of the experts of Ukraine and the IAEA is open and accessible», – Kateryna Pavlova, Head of the International Cooperation and Public Relations Department of SAUEZM, said.

According to the results of the event, the points of the working plan according to the National project of UKR9038 and persons responsible for their implementation were determined. According to this plan, within the next 2 years there will be cooperation between SAUEZM and the enterprises belonging to its management (ChNPP, SSE «Ecocentre», USC «Radon») with the IAEA.

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